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South Wales RNLI lifeboats save two lives in dramatic early morning rescue

Lifeboats News Release

In challenging conditions, two fishermen were plucked from the water at 1am this morning (12 June) in a rescue involving Penarth and Barry Dock RNLI volunteer crew.

RNLI/Andy Berry

Preparing to transfer casualties

Shortly after 1.10am, Penarth RNLI were requested by Milford Haven Coastguards to launch to a 19ft fishing vessel which was taking on water near Lavernock point. The Atlantic class lifeboat was first on scene, and initial attempts were made to steady the stricken boat which was in challenging tidal conditions. Unfortunately the vessel had taken on too much water, and quickly sank, with the two people on the vessel entering the water.

Penarth's smaller D class lifeboat Spirit of Penarth II arrived at scene and provided immediate assistance. RNLI lifeboat crew members had no option but to enter the water in order to save the lives of the two casualties. The casualties were transferred to Barry Dock all-weather RNLI lifeboat which had also been launched to assist in the multi-agency rescue.

The all-weather lifeboat from Barry Dock arrived on scene at 1.29am and offered valuable assistance in the rescue operation, returning the casualties to the station where an Ambulance Technician and Paramedic, who are part of the volunteer crew were on hand.

Jason Dunlop, Penarth RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager said:

'There is no doubt that the professionalism and swift actions of the crews saved the lives of the two casualties. The RNLI invests heavily in the training of the crews and the equipment we have access to, and we needed both to effect this rescue without loss of life.

'We are grateful to Barry Dock lifeboat crew, Milford Haven Coastguards who co-ordinated the rescue, Wales Ambulance service and Penarth Coastguard Rescue team who worked seamless as one team. Our thanks too go to the crew of rescue helicopter 187 who maintained a watch over us as the rescue developed, ready to deploy their winchman if required.'

Both casualties were taken by ambulance for medical checks as they were both cold and exhausted after their ordeal.

Penarth RNLI lifeboats were refuelled and readied for service, with crew members returning to their homes, and indeed workplaces, soon after 6am.

Notes to Editors

For further information please contact Andy Berry, lifeboat press officer, Penarth RNLI station 07951 051128. Video footage will be made available later today.

RNLI/Andy Berry

Crews immediately after a long night, watching the sun rise

RNLI/Andy Berry

the end of a long night

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

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Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland